13 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

If Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris were characters in a classic Hollywood western, Harris would likely play the wise and skeptical older sister while Ronstadt would be the vivacious and headstrong younger sister. In reality, Ronstadt is a year older than Harris, and they've been friends since the early '70s. The Western Wall, however, is their first album-length collaboration. Recorded entirely at a historic hotel in Ronstadt’s hometown of Tucson, the album does have a sororal feel to it. Harris and Ronstadt have very different personalities as singers, yet their voices become one when they sing together. In keeping with the album’s Western theme, the songs adopt a tone that's in turns homespun and spacious. Even though it's very much a contemporary album, there are prominent echoes of the '60s, especially in the vestal folk of “Sisters of Mercy” and the Byrds-like chiming of “Raise the Dead” and “He Was Mine.” Ronstadt sings Jackson Browne’s “For a Dancer” like a birthright, but it's the quieter moments that really astonish, especially “Western Wall,” “1917,” and “All I Left Behind.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

If Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris were characters in a classic Hollywood western, Harris would likely play the wise and skeptical older sister while Ronstadt would be the vivacious and headstrong younger sister. In reality, Ronstadt is a year older than Harris, and they've been friends since the early '70s. The Western Wall, however, is their first album-length collaboration. Recorded entirely at a historic hotel in Ronstadt’s hometown of Tucson, the album does have a sororal feel to it. Harris and Ronstadt have very different personalities as singers, yet their voices become one when they sing together. In keeping with the album’s Western theme, the songs adopt a tone that's in turns homespun and spacious. Even though it's very much a contemporary album, there are prominent echoes of the '60s, especially in the vestal folk of “Sisters of Mercy” and the Byrds-like chiming of “Raise the Dead” and “He Was Mine.” Ronstadt sings Jackson Browne’s “For a Dancer” like a birthright, but it's the quieter moments that really astonish, especially “Western Wall,” “1917,” and “All I Left Behind.”

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